Sunday, March 27, 2005

Apparently, it's bad only if OTHER people kill their family members.

(Via John at AmericaBlog.)

Oh, this is priceless. Just priceless. You couldn't have asked for a more embarrassing, ill-timed demonstration of GOP hypocrisy than this.

Apparently, GOP House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Unbounded Ethical Violations), the same Tom DeLay who is currently foaming at the mouth about having to save Terri Schiavo and the "culture of life" and anything else that can distract folks from what kind of bottom-dwelling lowlife he is ... well, apparently, this is the same Tom DeLay that killed his father. By pulling the plug on him. Is this just too delightful for words or what?

Following that link above from AmericaBlog, let's let the LA Times article give us the details (all emphasis enthusiastically added):

Family of the lawmaker involved in the Schiavo case decided in '88 to let his comatose father die.

CANYON LAKE, Texas — A family tragedy that unfolded in a Texas hospital during the fall of 1988 was a private ordeal — without judges, emergency sessions of Congress or the debate raging outside Terri Schiavo's Florida hospice.

The patient then was a 65-year-old drilling contractor, badly injured in a freak accident at his home. Among the family members keeping vigil at Brooke Army Medical Center was a grieving junior congressman — Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas).

More than 16 years ago, far from the political passions that have defined the Schiavo controversy, the DeLay family endured its own wrenching end-of-life crisis. The man in a coma, kept alive by intravenous lines and oxygen equipment, was DeLay's father, Charles Ray DeLay.

Then, freshly reelected to a third term in the House, the 41-year-old DeLay waited, all but helpless, for the verdict of doctors.

Today, as House Majority Leader, DeLay has teamed with his Senate counterpart, Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), to champion political intervention in the Schiavo case. They pushed emergency legislation through Congress to shift the legal case from Florida state courts to the federal judiciary.

And DeLay is among the strongest advocates of keeping the woman, who doctors say has been in a persistent vegetative state for 15 years, connected to her feeding tube. DeLay has denounced Schiavo's husband, as well as judges, for committing what he calls "an act of barbarism" in removing the tube.

In 1988, however, there was no such fiery rhetoric as the congressman quietly joined the sad family consensus to let his father die.

"There was no point to even really talking about it," Maxine DeLay, the congressman's 81-year-old widowed mother, recalled in an interview last week. "There was no way [Charles] wanted to live like that. Tom knew — we all knew — his father wouldn't have wanted to live that way."

Doctors advised that he would "basically be a vegetable," said the congressman's aunt, JoAnne DeLay.

When his father's kidneys failed, the DeLay family decided against connecting him to a dialysis machine. "Extraordinary measures to prolong life were not initiated," said his medical report, citing "agreement with the family's wishes." His bedside chart carried the instruction: "Do not resuscitate."

On Dec. 14, 1988, the DeLay patriarch "expired with his family in attendance."

And, gosh, you might be thinking, wouldn't this make DeLay an unprincipled, opportunistic, hypocritical hack, preying on people's emotions purely for political gain? Of course not, since the two situations are entirely different, as DeLay's press reptile Dan Allen explains:

"The situation faced by the congressman's family was entirely different than Terri Schiavo's," said a spokesman for the majority leader, who declined requests for an interview.

"The only thing keeping her alive is the food and water we all need to survive. His father was on a ventilator and other machines to sustain him," said Dan Allen, DeLay's press aide.

("And besides," continued Allen, now on a roll, "her case is in Florida, and this one happened in Texas. And her last name is 'Schiavo', and his was 'DeLay'. See? Totally different.")

Right, then, completely different situation. No similarities. Luckily, the reporter is there to back up Allen's claims:

There were also these similarities: Both stricken patients were severely brain-damaged. Both were incapable of surviving without medical assistance. Both were said to have expressed a desire to be spared from being kept alive by artificial means. And neither of them had a living will.

All right, then, as we can see, there are no meaningful parallels to these incidents. No story here, sorry to have wasted your time. Carry on.

AFTERTHOUGHT: You really should read the entire LA Times article, particularly this part where the DeLay family takes legal action against the company that designed the couplings that the family suggest were the cause of the accident:

In 1990, the DeLays filed suit against Midcap Bearing Corp. of San Antonio and Lovejoy Inc. of Illinois, the distributor and maker of a coupling that the family said had failed and caused the tram to hurtle out of control.

The family's wrongful death lawsuit accused the companies of negligence and sought actual and punitive damages. Lawyers for the companies denied the allegations and countersued the surviving designer of the tram system, Jerry DeLay.

The case thrust Rep. DeLay into unfamiliar territory
— the front page of a civil complaint as a plaintiff. He is an outspoken defender of business against what he calls the crippling effects of "predatory, self-serving litigation."

See how that works? Apparently, "predatory, self-serving litigation" is in the eye of the beholder. Fancy that.

HEAD-SHAKING UPDATE: And the hypocrisy continues.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well, just agree with "pro-life" Christians...or they'll kill you.